Here are some pictures of the winners of United Arab Emirates' "Gender Balance Index 2018." Notice anything odd?
If you said, "Boy, those all look to be men winning those awards," you would be right.
The Gender Balance Index is an initiative launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum — the leader of Dubai, one of the emirates that make up the UAE — in 2015.
The awards passed out include three categories: "Best Personality for Supporting Gender Balance, Best Federal Entity for Supporting Gender Balance, and the Best Initiative for Supporting Gender Balance" — none of which sound like they're especially geared toward women winning them.
Just look at all the gender balance on display here. Good job, Lt. Gen. Sheikh Saif bin Zayed al-Nahyan.
The general, who serves as both deputy prime minister and interior minister, is apparently this year's "Best Personality for Supporting Gender Balance" in the UAE government. He earned that distinction for "his efforts to enhance the participation of women in the UAE military, which has the highest percentage of participation in the Arab world, and for his role in supporting the amendment of the decision of maternal leave for women in the military, as well as providing equal opportunities for men and women and creating a supportive environment for both," according to the Dubai Media Office's press release.
So you wear that medal with pride, general.
Honestly, the whole gender problem: It has been fixed.
This year's other winners include His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai and minister of finance, who accepted the "Best Federal Entity for Supporting Gender Balance" prize on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, and His Excellency Nasser bin Thani Juma Al Hamli, minister of human resources and Emiratisation, who snagged the "Best Initiative for Supporting Gender Balance" for his agency.
Don't worry, though, there are plenty of women around, a whole five of them in one picture. Just none getting awards.
“The achievements of Emirati women today reaffirm the wise vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who believed in the importance of the role of women, and their right to work and become key partners in society,” the sheik said in a statement released by the government of Dubai's media office.
And to be fair, according to a UN Development Programme Study from 2018, the UAE is the best country in the Gulf region when it comes to gender equality. And in the UNDP's most recently updated version of its Gender Inequality Index, the country ranks 34th out of 195, just behind Poland.
But the sight of a bunch of men congratulating themselves for being great toward women was a bit too much for Twitter to take.